National Public Radio reported this week that it has more listeners than ever before – 37.5 million – including a big increase in listeners in their 20s and 30s. “Multimedia” comes in when you consider their different platforms. About 30 million still listen to the radio programs and news but 4 million now listen to NPR via podcast (including Dr. K) and others use the app or stream on the NPR site.
Those with a political interest will note the timing: President Trump proposed a budget this week that cuts funding for public broadcasting. PBS and NPR together get almost half a billion dollars from taxpayers each year ($450 million) – about 1/4 of its total budget. NPR wants to show the need for the funding by reporting the record ratings but it could backfire. Opponents might say “you have 37 million listeners – why do you need federal money?”